Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Old man fashioning a kayak out of a log???

Last Saturday, snow took a rather large branch off of our maple tree in the backyard. This has happened a few times before, but this time it decided to land on the power lines to our home. I woke up, looked out the window and there it was in all its majesty leaning against my power lines. I was surprised to discover that even though it had fallen on and was leaning on the power lines, we still had power and phone and everything.

Well, I called the power company and asked if they’d come out and take care of it, which they did, but in the process, they broke the phone line. So we had the phone company come out, but they really don’t matter in this story. The focus of this blog is the tree that caused the problem.

When we bought our home, it is an older home, it had a few big beautiful trees in the yard. One being this maple in the backyard. Over the past couple of years, this tree has started to die. In fact last year, the entire south side didn’t grow any leaves and the bark started to come off. The problem we have is that the tree sits between power lines, so any effort by myself to try to remove this tree would be dangerous and stupid.

Well, when the power company saw this tree and realized it posed a threat to their power lines, they decided, with our permission (and gratitude) that the tree had to go.

Monday morning, the tree cutters showed up and began to cut it down. When they had taken care of most of it, they cut the last bit of the trunk off at the base so all they had left was a log about 10-15 feet long and about 2 feet in diameter. They started to cut up this log, and apparently there were a lot of nails in it or something, because they had problems. Well, they told my wife that they were having problems and they were going to leave this log. She didn’t want to argue with them so she agreed, and they left.

Now, by my calculations, a log of that size weighs in the area of 1500 – 2500 pounds, and I don’t have a chainsaw. Even if I did, if these pros had problems with it what chance in the world do I have. So now I have a giant log in my backyard, that I am unable to budge, there’s no way to get a truck in my backyard, and I’m completely clueless as to what to do about it. I’ve called the city and so far gotten nowhere. So tell me what you think I should do with it. The idea to fashion a kayak came from the Wayne’s World 2 quote in the title, but let me know if anyone comes up with any better ideas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Can you feel it?

I really like to read poetry. I’ve always been fascinated with the story types of poetry, simply because I have a hard time writing that kind, but the type of poetry I like to read most of all, is the poetry that expresses the feelings that the author is currently feeling. Unfortunately, these usually end up being depressing, as most sentiment inspired writings were written in times of woe for the author.

I read a poem the other day, the name and author escapes me, but it was written around 1000 A.D. by a man soon after he had lost his wife and son. It literally brought tears to my eyes as the emotion this poor man was feeling dripped off of the page and directly into my soul. That is the type of poetry that I like, where the author is able to make you part of what he’s feeling. Where you, for a short time, take on some of the emotion that they are feeling, and even though they lived a thousand years ago, you feel connected in some way. Connected by nothing but a feeling, but connected all the same. Now that’s poetry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

World of Warcrack

So, an evil friend of mine gave me a 10 day trial to World of Warcraft. For those of you who have played this game, it rocks doesn’t it, and for those of you who haven’t, NEVER START. You have been warned.
Anyway, I took the trial because thought there’s no harm in this, 10 days then I’m done. I knew at the time that I was fooling myself, but I didn’t want to believe. For those who don’t know much about the game, it’s a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) based on the Warcraft RTS (Real Time Strategy) games. It’s like an online Dungeons and Dragons basically. A few of my friends at work play so I was immediately invited into their guild. I created me a character, (Female Undead Warlock) and off I went. Well, the 10 days got up, but that wasn’t enough time, oh no, I needed more. I bought the game and signed up the same day the trial ended. The only thoughts racing through my mind anymore are “how can I level faster, and how can I make more money in the game.” Sometimes my bus to and from work has wifi, and I could use it for work or something productive, but not till my Warlock reaches 70, (She’s currently only 43).

I like this game, a lot. I also hate this game a lot. There are some things that I just can’t stand, like when you die, your spirit is placed in the nearest graveyard and you have to run all the way back to your body or you can resurrect there with a 10 min 75% loss to all of your stats and a 25% armor loss, which really sucks. And sometimes it takes forever to run back. All in all there is way too much running in the game, but one of the nice things about it is that there is no loading while you are running, you can run/fly from area to area with no load time. The only times that it loads are when you cross continents or enter group instances, which is nice.

Another thing that sucks is because it is a online multiplayer game there are usually one or many others working on the same quest as you, and sometimes they take things you need or cause you to die, which is annoying, but it also has its advantages because you can team up with them and get quests done more quickly as well. All in all it’s a good game, but one that will eat way too much of your time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Twitter

I just added Twitter to the left column of my blog. If you don't know what Twitter is, it's like a blog, but shorter. You're supposed to send short one line updates throughout the day about what you're doing or whatever else tickles your fancy. Some call it nano blogging. It's kinda dorky and lame when you think about it, but kinda fun when you don't. The cool thing about it is that you can send updates whenever you want via a text message from your cell phone. So if that sort of thing interests you, have a look.
http://www.twitter.com

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Brother's Car

My younger brother got married on July 20th. We decorated his car with post-it notes. I thought I'd put some of the pics on here to share with the world. So here they are.






Monday, July 02, 2007

Ericka's Kiss

I've got your lips on my mind
The sensation of yours touched to mine
Elation of the body, heart and soul
Taking on a brand new role

That of servitude to the single lover
Brand new emotions to uncover
Bodies close, heart rate quickens
Heavy now the connection thickens

Skin caressing skin caressing skin
Waves of feeling, now giving in
Allowing emotion to take over discreetly
Rendering the mind useless completely

I am yours, you become mine
New levels of pleasure are ours to find
The love of my life and I in utter bliss
All caused by your tender sweet kiss

Friday, June 29, 2007

Star Wars Fandom

This article made me laugh many times. If you're a Star Wars fan especially, you should read it.


The Complex and Terrifying Reality of Star Wars Fandom

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday, June 08, 2007

Buying Mario Party 8

I bought a Nintendo Wii for my wife a few weeks back, it's good fun. But that's not really the point of this post. Mario Party 8 came out last week I think it was. Having been a fan of the other Mario Party games, and not having scouts to go to (I'm a Webelos leader), we decided to buy it on Tuesday.

Now, we'd seen it at Costco on Saturday for $43, when everywhere else it's around $50, but we got a coupon in the mail for $5 off any new game at Game Stop. Game Stop, being closer to my home than Costco, was worth it to me to pay the $2 extra to save some travel time. At least, this is what I thought before we went there.

First off, the good, the prices and selection are good, not great, but good. Now the bad, they only had one person in the entire store to help people. This wouldn't be so bad, except whenever somebody tries to check out, he hassles them for 10 minutes about other stuff they he feels should buy or reserve. There's only one other couple in the entire store, and it takes forever to get to us, because he is taking forever trying to talk them into buying more stuff. Now this couple was already buying like 7 games. So I would think that he would just count his blessings and let them go, but nope, he still has to pressure and push anything and everything he possible can on them.

It gets to be our turn. We tell him we would like to purchase the game we had set out to purchase. He asks us if we had reserved it, we told him no. He asks us why not as he's standing in front of a glass case with I would guess close to 100 copies of the game inside. So I point at the case and tell him we really don't need to reserve it because there are many copies right behind him. Then he proceeds to lecture us on how if we were smart we would've reserved it because last week, there were no copies because the smart people had reserved it and taken them all. Then he starts telling us we should reserve some soccer game that I've never heard of, nor would ever have any desire of buying, and when we tell him no thanks he gets all huffy and angry, and barks at my wife for swiping her credit card too soon. Good sales tactics man. Piss off your customers. Plus their web site is written in asp (Yuck).

I don't believe that store will be there much longer. First off, the location sucks. It's like going through a maze to get to it. Second off, there is a Super Target across the street where you can get everything (except for the used stuff, and the attitude) that they sale there for the same price or better. Needless to say, $5 or $50 discount, we'll never be going back.

Unknown

I wrote a poem yesterday. It's kind of crappy and depressing, but here it is anyways.

Put out of ease by the evil left inside
Unable to find the one to confide
The fears and pains that daily tear
Leaving holes that none others share

Stare into the abyss that was a soul
Unable to handle the current role
Instead backing farther into the corner
Lonely like the grave with no mourner

The windows to the soul now blank with fear
Replacing all that attempts to draw near
None can conquer the impenetrable shell
That is the gate out of this hell

This is the burden this is the charge
The criminal responsible is still at large
For stealing the hope of something more
Than the constant skull beating against the floor

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lego Escher

There are some people in this world with way too much time on their hands. Like this guy, who built models of Escher drawings using Legos and forced perspective. Don't get me wrong, they are really cool and all, but I just don't know where some people find the time to do this sort of thing.
Read More about the artist here.







Random Humorous photos

I've come across a lot of funny pics in my days on the internet. Here are a few of them.






Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I bought a new gun!

I got me a new gun. It's a Russian M44 Mosin Nagant 7.62x54R WWII surplus rifle. I've not had a chance to fire it yet, but I'm excited to have it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

When am I ever going to use this?

I was at my local supermarket the other day, and I saw my librarian from elementary school. I was surprised I recognized her, but even more surprised that she recognized me. I believe her name was Mrs. Olsen, but I'm not sure. She taught us things like the difference between fiction and non-fiction, and the Dewey Decimal System. I remember these things. I marveled at how crazy it is that I remember these things after such a long time. Then I started to wonder why we aren't taught other things in school that would actually be really useful in our daily lives. The main thing that came to my mind is finances. Why don't we ever learn in school how to take care of our money and make it grow, or how to balance a check book, or invest in IRA's or CD's? Don't get me wrong, the Dewey Decimal System is important, but I'd really much rather know how to successfully invest in real estate, or learn what investments provide the greatest tax breaks. How do we go about changing the curriculum so our children don't have to suffer through the financial woes that my generation has fallen victim to? With all the bankruptcies and enormous amounts of debt that everyone seems to be accumulating, I think that such courses would not only be the prudent thing to do, but in due course will be a necessary step to take to survive this world where it's so easy to fall into these holes. Why can't we learn to avoid them altogether instead of only learning to climb out once we are in over our heads?

Monday, April 23, 2007

I won't grow up.

My wife’s grandma died yesterday. This got me to thinking a lot about old people. Personally my worst fear in the world is getting old. I just really don’t like the idea of not being able to physically and mentally handle the challenges that I am now able to handle with no problem. I realize this fear is one of the most irrational of all since it is completely and utterly inevitable, but it still frightens me.

Although, there are some things that I do think would be nice about being old. Like senior citizen discounts, and the ability to act in a completely tactless manner and be socially accepted anyway. Don’t get me wrong, not everything you do when you are old is ok. For example, I was dining the other day, if eating at Carl’s Jr. can be considered dining, when a little girl, probably between 3 and 5 years old let out a blood curdling squeal that I’m sure the astronauts heard. Now, this was horribly annoying, but what the old man who was sitting behind her did was completely unnecessary and rude. He turns around and yells at the little girl and her mother, “Will you shut that thing up!” Now, this upset me a bit, sure it was annoying, but it’s just a little girl and you can be nice. So I yelled back, “Dude, it’s a little girl.” That shut him right up. But then his wife/sister/daughter or whoever it was that was with him says to me “He’s got sensitive ears.” So I yell back “So what…he can be nice.”

That’s where it upsets me. When people believe that just because they are old, they can say/do what they want and everyone around should just take it. My grandma was one of these old people. She was very low on compliments, but full of criticism. And she seemed to think that we should just take it and be grateful she was talking to us. My wife’s grandma seemed to believe that the world owed her something. She once asked me to put some oil in her car, and I said sure. But, then she said, “I could do it myself, but I don’t like to if I can make you do it instead.” Needless to say, this did not make me happy. This is why I fear old age. Are we all doomed to be in pain all the time and taking 50 medications daily most of which are to cover side effects of other medications? Is it actually possible to grow old gracefully?

One of my grandmas did, in attitude. Her body fell completely apart, but she was always happy and you’d never hear complaints out of her. I have a hard time believing that I could keep that type of attitude for that long with my body betraying me at every turn. So, maybe I am doomed to follow in the footsteps of many an angry old person that has come before me. My friend and I actually have a dream of being the two old guys who sit in rocking chairs out on their porch and yell obscenities at the children as they walk by. Something to look forward to I guess.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Top 10

My younger brother just asked his love to marry him. He also made a movie about the top 10 reasons why he loves her. I've posted it on here with his and her consent. The actors are all siblings of either my brother or his new fiance, and he made us all wear these horrible horrible wigs. But it turned out really good. I've encoded it at a pretty high bitrate so sorry to those of you with a low connection speed. She said "Yes" by the way.



Friday, April 06, 2007

The Uber Sore Throat

I've had a sore throat now for over a month. It's intesity changes, but it is still there. I went to the doctor for it about a week ago, and my bloodpressure and cholesterol are both a little above average, but he couldn't see what was wrong with my throat. So, he gave me some antibiotics and told me to take ibuprofen. For 10 days, I took these antibiotics and ibuprofen, thinking that maybe it would help, and for a while it seemed to. Then I realized that it's just the ibuprofen making the pain go away that made me think I was getting better. The antibiotics did nothing. This indicates to me that it is either alergies, which would explain the logevity of it all, or it's some sort of super virus that is slowly eating away my throat. The problem with the alergies theory is the fact that I've never had any sort of alergies to anything before. Now, I would hope that if it were a virus, that my body would eventually be able to fight it off somehow, but as of yet, it seems to be as stumped as I am as to the nature of the problem. I bring all of this up, because last night it really flaired up, and now it's doing it again. It really REALLY hurts right now. If anybody else is experiencing similar symptoms, let me know. Here is a complete list.
Extremely Persistant Sore throat that comes and goes.
Sore ears.
No fever.
No other symptoms really.

Friday, March 30, 2007

I'm Steve Mac Parody

So, I personally don't have a problem with Macs. The Mac user tends to bug me because of their delusions of superiority, but Macs themselves I think are nice for what they do. That being said, this video made me laugh...a lot.

Frustration

This is a short sad poem I wrote last week while frustrated and waiting for a couple of people to pull their heads out. I call it Big Business Regression.

In this never ending crap hole we currently drown.
Hoping to hit bottom, but continuing down.
Wondering if hell is close or if this is the worst
Pressure building till capillaries begin to burst
Wanting something different, something more
Feeling like a filthy, cheap corporate whore
Sentiments long forgotten, returning somehow
Tried to flee in terror, but it's too late now
Pointless it seems, pointless it is
Failing the once thought simple quiz

The name may not make sense to you, but that's only because you weren't there.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Unable to act? Or unable to shrink.

I’ve tried out for the Kaysville City musical once again. We’re doing Joseph and the Amazing blah blah blah. It’s an interesting thing. For those who may not know it, I’m a pretty big guy, but when compared to most of the guys who like to do things like act in a play, I’m freakin’ humungous. I feel this has in some ways hindered my attempts to acquire a lead role. Instead, I usually find myself as the big dumb guy, or some guard in the background or something. Now I know I probably stand out like a sore thumb on stage, and I understand the reasons for doing what they do, but just once it’d be nice to be a lead.

Maybe it’s better this way. Takes away the stress. But this year, I actually find myself desiring to drop out. It’s hard to commit yourself for that long to something that your heart really isn’t into. Plus my wife doesn’t like the fact that I’ll be gone more, so that adds to the stress. Well, I’m committed now, but I think this may be the last year of the play for me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Lessons In Futility

The world came crashing down
As so often in the past we've witnessed
But unforeseen results are now our companion
As we struggle against the quicksand
Sinking more quickly now
Do you drown yourself to make it end on your terms?
Or, do you struggle against all odds?
The outcome is the same
In the end, your choice meant nothing

I often wonder if there are choices that we make that just don't make any difference at all in the world, or if by the butterfly effect, every single thing we do with our lives completely affects not only ourselves, but the entire planet. Is my constant use of the backspace key (because of my poor typing) causing something crazy to happen to the weather? Could that repeated keystroke with my little finger be the cause of "Global Warming?" Should Al Gore be coming after me, for my abuse of that poor beaten key? Probably not, but it's kind of fun to think about.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Human History Month...A Good Idea?

Over the month of February, I got to thinking a lot about Black History month, and it kinda started to piss me off. Where's white history month? Or better yet, human history month, where everyone studies their own history and learns more about their past. I thought this was a good idea. Then I started to think about why in the world we have to have these divisions amongst "race" anyway. Aren't we all a part of the human race? So, from now on, I'm not going to call myself, white, or you black/Asian/latin american etc. From now on, we are all of the human race. I'm going to mark 'other' on applications where it asks race from now on and write in human. I want to see Black History Month changed to Human History Month. I will not call myself a white man, and I will frown upon anyone distinguishing themselves in this way.
Do we really want to remain divided over something as stupid as where our ancestors were born? Lack of unity has caused the fall of many a great world superpower. Will race be the cause of our division?
I think that all humans need to unite under something, and this is the one thing we all have in common. We are all human, top of the food chain, opposable thumbs, able to conquer any terrain the world has to offer. I say we ditch racial pride, gay pride, white power, and all these worthless things to unite under something much bigger. Anyone want to start a human pride day with me and march in a human pride parade?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Youth Impact 5k

My sister is organizing a 5k walk/run for a senior project. She asked me to build her a website for advertising so here it is http://www.YouthImpact5k.com. I'm not the best web designer in the world, but I think it turned out pretty good. Have a look and let me know what you think. Then if you're able/willing, come and run.
*Edit:
It has come to my attention that the site doesn't look right in IE6. Seeing as how I wrote it using IE7 in Vista I had no way to test this. I tested it in Firefox, Opera, and Safari and it works great in all of them, but not IE6. I would recommend everyone upgrade to IE7 since it is a much better browser than IE6, but I'm still going to have to fix it since my analytics on the site say that most of the people who are hitting the site, are doing so with IE6. Stupid microsoft.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

My Experience With Windows Vista

I've been using Windows Vista for about 2 months now. Not to mention my prelaunch involvement in beta testing Websites to work with Vista and IE7. This is one of the sites I built for Microsoft Partners and Windows Vista. Here are my first impressions of Microsoft's new OS. On first look/first impression, I thought, “Wow, it looks like Mac OS X.” It appears that Microsoft has “borrowed” some style ideas from the Mac OS platform. But this is something that will be pretty obvious to anyone who looks at it. So let’s get into other things.

First off, installation: The installation for Windows Vista is now completely GUI based, which is a pretty nice feature if fear command lines. But the thing that impressed me about the installation wasn’t the GUI, it was the speed. It only took about half as long to install as XP does. This is nice for someone like me who tends to wipe and reinstall pretty often.

Next, Drivers: I installed this on my Laptop, and right out of the box Vista had drivers for everything except my flash card reader and the scroll bars on my touchpad. I was able to get these drivers from Dell however so everything is working fine. When I reinstalled XP Media Center, I had to download and install drivers for almost everything, so again, with my past history of reinstalling, this is a plus as it takes much less time to get drivers installed.

Software: Most software that I use, if it has compatibility issues with vista, they have released a fix, or a new version, with the exception of Microsoft’s software. The program I had the absolute hardest time getting to work was Office 2007. This is not old software, it was only released a little while ago. In order to get it to run properly, I had to install Office 2003, then upgrade. How lame is that. Visual Studio 2003 and 2005 both say that they have compatibility issues each time you try to run them, and SQL Server 2005 just barely released SP2 which is supposed to make it Vista Compatible. I find it interesting that the people who had the longest time to make their software compatible with the new OS are taking the longest time to do so.

Other: The new look is nice, it eats up way too much memory, but it is nice. The navigation and search capabilities are awesome, as well as its power saving features for Laptops. The only problem is you have to have a pretty beefy laptop just to run it. Luckily I do. The gadgets are kinda cool. Their basically the hmtl/javascript based gadget/widgets that you can get from yahoo, google, stardock, or mac, but still nice. My favorite feature so far has been the hibernate, which they tried to do in XP but it just sucked. Now with my laptop, it’s all I use. Makes it real nice to be able to start working exactly where you left off.

The next thing I want to talk about is the UAC (User Account Control). Mac made a pretty funny commercial about this new "feature". Now the Mac parody of this, is not too far off. One of the first things I did upon discovering this annoyance was completely disable it. But that's not enough. After you disable the UAC, you get a pop up down in the lower right corner every time you start the computer and other times just because that tells you that it has been disabled and click here to enable it. Now, to disable UAC is a pain in the butt, but to enable it, all you have to do is click the link. So, if you don't want to be annoyed by that popup all the time, you actually have to go in and disable the pop up as well. Who thought this thing up? All it did for me was make me nice and angry and waste my time.

Well, I could go into detail about many other things, but this is the base. Basically I believe that if Microsoft can work out the bugs between Vista and its own software, and at least tone down the UAC, they’ll definitely have a decent OS.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

About time

Well, I've actually decided to point my domain name to my blog. I think that it's about time.

Today I came to the realization that if you want to win anything in a contest at my company, your entry had better have something to do with the company. Example: we had a contest for love song lyrics for Valentines Day. Here are the official instructions.

Enter the (Company Name) Love Song Lyrics Contest.

It's easy to enter. Just submit your original love song lyrics to Danielle no later than Friday, Febuary 9 at 4:pm.

Then below, they wrote out some lyrics to a song by Air Supply as an example. So I thought to myself, "Hey, I'd like a prize." So I composed some lyrics. Not my best work, but pretty decent I thought. So they chose 3 winners, and all 3 were lyrics written to the tune of existing songs and all about the company. While they were clever, I thought the contest was more than another "fun" way to poke fun at the company. But that's how it's been with every contest that they've had here since I started working here almost a year ago. So you'd think I'd have learned by now that that's just the way it's going to be and maybe if I really want to win, I'll conform, but probably not.